I was promised a train wreck, but… puppies.
Erin (Charlotte Sullivan) is a pet therapist in New York who is engaged to Travis (Philip Boyd) and has just been hired for a new position in San Francisco. On the day of their wedding, she finds out that her fiance has been cheating on her with her best friend Taylor (Jen Nikolaisen). Starting out in a new city on her own, Erin finds herself dealing with her egocentric new boss Martin (Donny Boaz) whose sister, Carly (Elizabeth Small), seems to have been the one who actually hired Erin. Erin quickly gets a strange assignment: Giving away 12 puppies that were left behind after a photo shoot. Despite her recent romantic troubles, Erin finds herself spending more and more time with Martin and finding love… and puppies. I wouldn’t call it puppy love, but only because I have some self-respect.
First, this is not to be confused with the film The 12 Dogs of Christmas, which is apparently also a movie which is actually better reviewed than this one. This movie was recommended to me as an example of a truly terrible Christmas movie. This has a 4.3 on IMDB, which makes it only slightly better reviewed than The Adventures of Pluto Nash, a film which lost almost $100 million. Despite that, or maybe because I was expecting the absolute worst and had been consuming eggnog accordingly, I actually didn’t think this movie was that bad. It’s not good, to be sure, and if you are looking for a strong script you have come to the wrong place, but it’s got puppies and some fun scenes and it’s willing to be just insane enough that you are never bored.
For example, the breakup scene between Erin and her fiance is nuts. Her fiance and best friend basically think she’s overreacting entirely to the reveal that she was being dumped for another woman on her wedding day, at the wedding site (it’s at city hall). The fiance reveals he was just planning on a fling, but that he fell in love with the other woman. He treats Erin yelling at them as if she’s being insane. He then makes a joke that Erin’s going to kill them later. It truly is a ridiculous scene.
The whole movie just seems to operate on a number of massive logical gaps. Erin, a dog therapist, is hired for a company that makes GPS locators for dogs. She does end up helping, but only because she makes a number of extremely common-sense suggestions that somehow this entire startup never thought of and they have nothing to do with her being a pet therapist. Erin quickly gets promoted to do more and bigger jobs for which she is completely unqualified. When I say quickly, the beginning of her job is the week after Thanksgiving and the final scene is Christmas. She even has to pawn her puppy giving responsibilities off on Taylor. Yes, her best friend who cheated with her fiance. She MOVES TO SAN FRANCISCO to apologize to Erin within a few days. Then, naturally, Erin runs into her ex-fiance again and he tries to get back with her, again, less than a month after the breakup. Even her relationship with Martin seems to jump out of nowhere, with them going from angry to in love in like two montages. It makes no sense and is kind of hilariously abbreviated storytelling.
What really helps is that the film has a lot of cute dogs in it. Whoever picked the puppies needs awards. They’re all adorable, including Erin’s tiny puppy “Goliath.” It’s so hard to care about the film’s faults when you can watch tiny puppies being cuddled. It also has the most believable deus ex machina in history, because it’s just “rich people can do whatever they want.”
Overall, this isn’t a great movie, but it is a movie that needs to be seen to be believed. If you like cheesy Xmas movies, have some eggnog and give it a shot.
If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All Time, Collection of TV Episodes, Collection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.
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